MMASucka’s Top 40 Prospects: First Period Review:

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Marc Diakiese of the Congo celebrates his knockout victory over Teemu Packalen of Finland in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at The O2 arena on March 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

 

KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 15: Tom Duquesnoy of France celebrates after defeating Patrick Williams dto win their Bantamweight bout on UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center on April 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Top 40 Prospects Overall Record: 23-4 (9 KO/3 SUB)

Through the first period of 2017, MMASucka’s top 40 prospects list has been a great success shedding light on a number of rising stars.

So far five of the top 40 prospects have signed with either the UFC or Bellator (15 were already signed to either promotion.) As of right now it appears three other fighters are right on the cusp of making the transition over.

We’ve seen several fighters have outstanding performances including Marc Diakiese’s highlight reel KO of Teemu Packelen, the KO UFC debut of Tom Duquesnoy, and Ian Heinisch who submitted Lucas Rota.

But we’ve also seen several fighter who disappointed including Paddy Pimblett who lost his Cage Warriors Featherweight championship, Paul Craig who dropped a bout against Tyson Pedro, Jared Scoggins (brother of Justin) lost one, and Ryan Scope who surprisingly lost in February.

With that said, lets take a look at some of the highlights thus far.

Most Impressive So Far

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: Marc Diakiese of the Congo celebrates his knockout victory over Teemu Packalen of Finland in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at The O2 arena on March 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

#37 Mark Diakiese: Diakiese really shined in his third UFC bout against Teemu Packalen winning by knockout in under a minute. He landed an absolute perfect right hand that sent Teemu to the canvas. It was a very impressive performance.

After a so-so fight with Frankie Perez last year, some were down on Diakiese and thought he relied too much on athleticism and power lacking skills in the technical department.

Following the Perez fight, Diakiese linked up with American Top Team. Although he beat Packalen with a lot of flashy technique, it appears he’s at the right place. ATT has helped so many prospects like Diakiese and helped mold them into superstars, Diakiese could be the next.

Most Disappointing

#36 Paddy Pimblett: Oh Paddy… We were hesitant putting Pimblett on the top 40 list after his performance last year against Julian Erosa and his last fight against Nad Narimani showed why.

Pimblett lost his Cage Warriors Featherweight championship to Narimani in a unanimous decision loss in April. Pimblett just hasn’t improved and appears to one-dimensional at this point.

He’s only 22, and there has been murmurs that the cut to 145-pounds has been getting more difficult for the Liverpool native, so perhaps a move up to 155-pounds would be best for him.

One interesting thing to note is that he is currently a free agent at the moment. Considering he’s coming off a loss his stock is low but it’d be interesting if a bigger promotion would consider signing him even coming off a loss.

Signed with UFC

BUFFALO, NY – APRIL 08: Magomed Bibulatov of Russia (R) lands a kick on Jenel Lausa of the Philippines (L) in their flyweight bout during the UFC 210 event at KeyBank Center on April 8, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
  • #1 Tom Duquesnoy: The Fire Kid signed with the UFC in early 2017 and debuted with a knockout victory in Kansas City on UFC on FOX 24.
  • #2 Magomed Bibulatov: Bibulatov signed with the UFC back in January and debuted in victory on UFC 210.
  • #9 Joseph Morales (Rumored): Morales is rumored to have signed with the UFC in March. Dana White personally scouted Morales for the “Lookin’ for a Fight” series.
  • #16 Jarred Brooks: Brooks signed with the UFC as a late replacement for Brad Pickett against Ian McCall but McCall pulled out of the fight and Brooks debut was scrapped.

Signed with Bellator

  • #24 Amir Albazi: It’s unclear if Albazi signed with Bellator but he will be fighting on Bellator 179 against Jamie Powell. Sometimes when Bellator does international events they do a lot of co-promoting with European promotions, that could be the case with Albazi.

Fighter’s on verge of signing with UFC/Bellator

  • #17 Trevin Giles: Giles is right on the doorstep of getting a UFC contract after defeating Ryan Spahn in February. Giles headlined the event and remains undefeated at 9-0.
  • #20 Sergey Pavlovich: Pavlovich is pretty close to signing with a major promotion. Unfortunately his last fight was cancelled due to a death in the family.
  • #27 Tyler Diamond: Diamond is probably 2-3 fights away from being signed to the UFC. He’s a very talented wrestling prospect out of Team Alpha Male.
  • #28 Ian Heinisch: Heinisch almost got a roster spot on the Ultimate Fighter last year but the promotion passed on him after they postponed the show. He won his fight in April finishing Lucas Rota, he could be signed very soon.

Fighter’s who haven’t fought nor have fights lined up in 2017

#35 Phil Hawes: Hawes was set to fight at WSOF 35 but his opponent was injured and Hawes was pulled from the fight.

#34 Grant Dawson: Dawson missed weight back in February and was pulled from his bout vs Chuka Willis. He has not been booked since.

#32 Sage Northcutt: Northcutt has yet to fight in 2017 nor has any indication of when he’ll fight been made public. He did have tonsil surgery in April.

#21 Dmitriy Sosnovskiy: Sosnovskiy was set to fight earlier this year but pulled out of his UFC debut with an undisclosed injury.

#20 Sergey Pavlovich: Pavlovich was set to fight in March but pulled out of the contest after the death of his mother.

Biggest Upcoming Fights

#26 Mateusz Gamrot vs Norman Parke: Gamrot will fight former UFC veteran Norman Parke in a 55,000 seat arena for the KSW Lightweight championship on May 27. It will be the greatest challenge to Gamrot’s young career.

#5 Jose Torres vs Farkhad Sharipov:
On May 19th, elite prospect Jose Torres will challenge Farkhad Sharipov for the Titan Bantamweight championship. Torres is already Titan FC’s Flyweight champion and is moving up to challenge for a second title. If he is able to win a second world title, he could be signed by the UFC immediately even at only 5 professional fights.

40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

 

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